Worldwide Elections, Great Wall Repairs, and Facing Your Fears

This article was published in the Escape Artist Weekly Newsletter on May 11, 2018. If you would like to subscribe to the newsletter, please click here.

Hello readers,

Thanks again for joining us in Escape Artist’s weekly round-up letter. I hope this message is finding you at the end of a productive work week.

This week, we dive into a few elections happening around the world. As election seasons come and go, there are always a few surprising moments – but none as jaw-dropping as what happened in Malaysia’s election this year. We also look into how one country is prioritizing its expat voters.

You’ll also learn about one monumental structure that is getting a makeover with the help of some great new tech.

At the end of this round-up, find out how you can have a hand in helping us with the very first Escape Artist Conference!


Malaysia’s Shocking Election Results

Elections are happening all around the globe over the next couple of months. One election has made an especially large splash this year.

92-year-old, Mahathir Mohamad, won the Malaysian Prime Minister election, defeating the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition, a group that has been in power for 60 years. He was so dedicated to the cause and the position that he pulled himself out of retirement. The United Malays National Organization (UMNO), the major party of the BN, was represented by incumbent Prime Minister Najib Razak. The UMNO has dominated Malaysian politics since the country’s independence from Britain in 1957.

Not only is this monumental for the country as a surprise win, but yesterday, Mahathir was sworn in as the oldest elected leader in the world!


Expat Remittance Tax Rejected!

Earlier this year, Bahrain officials proposed a tax on expat remittances but were later criticized. The MPs of the country have officially voted against the tax, deeming it unconstitutional.

Another critique of the proposed law is that the new legislation would promote a black market for illegal, international money transfers, which would more than likely create a bigger problem by damaging Bahrain’s reputation as a financial center.

There will be another vote on Tuesday, however, that will determine whether or not expats will pay double the amount as a Gulf Cooperation Council citizen to register vehicles.


In Further Election News…

As an expat, it can be quite difficult to remain involved in your home country’s elections. Although you may have chosen to Consumer Resource Guidelive abroad, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be able to make choices that may benefit you and your family when you return. One country is making sure their expat population’s voice is heard.

Voters in Mexico are gearing up for their upcoming election. This year, the government has made an effort to make voting easier for citizens who have chosen to expatriate.

Mexican voters located around the world will be getting their ballots in the mail this week, many of them being sent to various locations in the U.S.  


Everyone Needs a Little Makeover Eventually

One of Earth’s oldest and most visited structures in the world is set to get a makeover with a little bit of help from drones.

The 2,000-year-old Great Wall of China proudly stands at more than 13,000 miles long. Since it is so old, it makes sense that it’s time for a few repairs. Because the wall stretches over a variety of terrain that is steep, eroded, and dangerous for people to access in some parts, repairs can be quite difficult.

Intel and the China Foundation for Cultural Heritage Conservation are planning to send drones to scan 3D images of parts of the wall that are in disrepair.

Intel’s drone team is excited to use the technology for preserving the historic site! It’s an important job and this opportunity could really show the diversity of the use of drone technology.


Citizenship in the Caribbean is Easier than You Think!

Worldwide Elections, Great Wall Repairs, and Facing Your Fears

With St. Lucia’s straightforward Citizenship by Investment Program, you can easily earn citizenship in this sunny Caribbean paradise! Discover more about the program and its benefits here.


Thank you for reading this week’s round-up! If you’re interested in learning what it’s like to expatriate, don’t hesitate to ask some questions. At Escape Artist, we aim to ensure that your travels abroad run as smoothly as they can.

Whether you are planning on living, working, retiring, or investing overseas, Escape Artist can help you every step of the way. Don’t forget to check out the eBook store for the 2018 Expat Tax Guide and our wonderful country guides!  

For more information on what’s going on in the international scene, check out some of this week’s newest articles!


P.S. Do you have questions about how to live abroad and what the experience is like? Are you looking for international investment opportunities? Want to meet like-minded people who are in the same boat as you? Come hang out with other EA readers and the Escape Artist staff! We will be hosting an event this year and can’t wait to meet you!

Click here to find out more information and to stay in the loop on locations and dates! It’s important that this event be exactly what YOU want – no alternate agenda or product pitches! This is about answering YOUR questions!

In order for the event to be a success, take a second to fill out this survey. By sending us your thoughts, you can tailor the event to your specific overseas needs. We will also be supplying a 10% discount during registration to everyone that filled out the survey to make the event possible!

See you there!


If St. Lucia is on your list of possible new homes, whether for retirement or otherwise, you’re likely considering every angle before making your final choice. It always comes down to the same general criteria: “What is there to do? What language is spoken there? How is the cost of living in comparison to what I’m currently paying?”

The answers you’re looking for would...

Read more…


The reason to set up an international self directed IRA is that you want to take control of your investments. You want to buy in the best foreign investments to maximize returns to your retirement account. You want to become the investment advisor and search out unique and high returning investments. You want to earn more than a boring U.S. index fund offers. You might even want to protect your retirement savings by moving it out of the United States and by diversifying out of the U.S. dollar.

In order to take control over your retirement account, you must first set up a self directed IRA. And this account must be with a U.S. custodian experienced in offshore transactions. While many firms offer self directed accounts, very few allow… Read more…


If you want to improve the performance of your retirement account, consider investing offshore. Want to get in on the best ICOs or buy a rental property in a high value international market? You’ll need to convert your retirement account into a self directed IRA. When you go offshore, you need to watch out for disqualified persons in a self directed IRA. Here’s how to stay within the rules when you’re offshore:

When you invest a portion of your retirement abroad, or move your entire account offshore, you must follow the same rules as…

Read more…


In this article, we’ll look at the process of investing your self directed IRA outside of the United States. This is the international self directed IRA investment process in 6 steps. If you want to diversify your retirement account offshore, here’s how to do it.

First, let me define the term “self directed IRA.” A self directed IRA is a retirement account where you can “direct” your custodian to make a particular investment. You can ask them to make an investment and, if it’s within the rules, they will usually comply.

Most custodians allow only…

Read more…


In this post, we’ll define the international self directed IRA. What’s the difference between a traditional IRA account and a self directed IRA account? What the heck is an international self directed IRA? Finally, what are your options when you want to invest your retirement account outside of the United States?

First let’s compare a traditional IRA account and a self directed account.

What I call a “traditional” account is one held at an old school brokerage such as Fidelity or Charles Schwab. These firms usually offer you a free account and make money… a lot of money… selling you investments. Once they have your account, you’re locked into…

Read more…

This article was published in the Escape Artist Weekly Newsletter on May 11, 2018. If you would like to subscribe to the newsletter, please click here.